Differences Between a Longboard and a Skateboard 

 September 25, 2020

By James Mason

difference between longboard and skateboard

It is easy to get confused when trying to find out the differences between a skateboard and a longboard. They look almost identical to the naked eye. I mean except for their sizes they are very hard to differentiate, right?

Well, in a way we can say that they are the same as the longboard is just a longer version of the skateboard as their name suggests.

Again, they are not really the same when we look closely at their features, how they perform, and how they are used. So, in today’s article, I am going to share the differences between skateboard and longboard.

I have also reviewed some good beginner's longboards and cheap skateboards. You can read these reviews if you ever plan to buy a longboard or skateboard.

The Origin Of Longboards

The surfers always wanted to pass their non-surfing time by doing something as adventurous and enjoyable as surfing. But they wanted to do it on the flat surfaces. That’s where the idea of a skateboard came from. Now the skateboarding tradition started a long time ago, back in the 1950s. At that time surfing was a very popular sport and the skateboard was invented in order to get the feeling of surfing in the land. But skateboard with its shape and model was nowhere near a surfing board.

So it became a totally different sport and became very popular too. But the search for a land surfer continues and for that purpose longboard was introduced. Now longboard was able to bring the feel of a surfboard with its flexibility and soft wheels. So quickly the surfers were also becoming interested in longboarding.

Longboard vs Skateboard: What Is The Difference?

First The Size

As the name suggests, longboards are longer in size than that of a skateboard. Generally, a skateboard comes in between 28-34 inches long and 7-10 inches wide. When a longboard has a length of 35-60 inches and a width of 9-10 inches. Now the extra big size of the longboard makes it more stable and easier to control when the skateboard is perfect for doing tricks because of its small size.

Now The Shape

You can easily tell that they are different from their shape. Skateboards have an upward curve on both ends which gives the rider to perform kickflips. On the other hand, longboard comes in a variety of shapes all different from the other. Plus, the longboard doesn’t have any upward curves, instead, it has two strips at each side of the deck. Skateboards are popular among many adventurous surfers due to their low weight and small size. When longboards are popular among those who love to take a longer ride.

Then The Wheels

As they are different in size, you can easily understand that their wheels will be bigger and smaller too. Longboard comes with bigger and softer wheels to ensure faster speed and powerful shock absorption capability. The wheels are there to make it more stable, balanced and suitable for riding various complicated terrains for a longer period of time. Now the skateboards got smaller wheels to allow it to be handier to control its speed and ensures the capability of doing tricks.

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Which One Is More Balanced

The most important thing to a surfer while riding is the balance he has over the ride. The more balance there is, the more enjoyable the ride becomes. As the longboard is bigger in size and has a wide space to stand on, it surely provides more stable performance. So it is easier to balance on. The extra space offers greater comfort for those who have larger feet. On the contrary, the skateboards with its small space require more skills to balance it. But once you learn to balance a skateboard, then balancing a longboard will be a piece of cake to you.

Riding Around

If you want to skate in the parks or doing some jumping in the stairs or benches, then a tiny skateboard is the perfect choice for you. They are lightweight and performs a great deal of curving. But if you want to travel a long distance or trying to bring groceries back home, then longboard is the ideal ride as it provides a more balanced ride. Plus, for a mile-long cruising, you need that extra space the longboard offers and the speed too.

Doing Some Tricks

Longboards are not made for doing tricks, that is the job of a skateboard. The less weight, upward curved ends, small size and wheels all are perfect for you to zigzag and jumping around while riding. Moreover, short skateboards are easy to carry around with you so you can bring it with you wherever you want. Even for grinding tricks, skateboards are the safest choice. If you don't know skating, then read my guide on how to ride a skateboard.

The Safer Board

When you are riding on different surfaces, there is always a high risk that you can hurt yourself badly. Besides that, if you go for doing tricks with a longboard or go for a downhill ride with a skateboard then that is a very bad idea. You should always use them for which they are meant to be used. As long as you follow that you should be safe. But longboards have a plus point, as I said multiple times, they are bigger in size and easier to control. So, for a beginner who wants to learn to cruise should go for the longboard to start with.

So both the skateboard and longboard has some differences and similarities in different ways. But now you know a lot more about them. It is safe to say that the skateboard is more of an adventurous and thrilling ride when a longboard can be your best buddy at transportation.

About the author

James Mason here. Surfing, skateboarding, and longboarding enthusiast currently living in Rio, Brazil. Started boarding since I was old enough to wear a helmet, except I often didn't. Think that explains a lot :)